Ex-VW CEO to face charges of organized commercial fraud
11 Sep 2020

Former Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn will face charges of conspiracy to commit organized commercial fraud with a high likelihood of conviction, a court probing the carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal said on Wednesday.

A court in Braunschweig, Germany, near where Volkswagen is headquartered, expanded the list of charges beyond fraud to include organized commercial fraud, preliminary remarks published by the court at the start of the trial showed.

Winterkorn and other Volkswagen executives face charges for their role in allowing diesel cars with illegal emissions-masking software to hit the road.

Because Volkswagen vehicles had higher pollution levels than was declared, they should have been subject to higher road tax, and former Volkswagen executives should therefore also face charges of tax evasion and false advertising, the court added.

The scandal, which was uncovered by U.S. authorities in September 2015, has cost Volkswagen more than 30 billion euros ($35 billion) in refits, legal fees and settlements, and resulted in a drastic management and strategy overhaul.

By Jan Schwartz and Edward Taylor, Reuters, 9 September 2020

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